Tuesday 11 December 2018

King 'excited' as Yanworth makes chasing debut at Exeter

The JP McManus-owned gelding will go off a short-priced favourite for today’s Best Mate Beginners’ Chase over two miles and an extended furlong. Stock image
The JP McManus-owned gelding will go off a short-priced favourite for today’s Best Mate Beginners’ Chase over two miles and an extended furlong. Stock image

Thomas Kelly

Exeter is always a good place to send a chasing debutant and it's no surprise that Alan King has chosen the venue for Yanworth's first attempt at the larger obstacles in public.

The JP McManus-owned gelding will go off a short-priced favourite for today's Best Mate Beginners' Chase over two miles and an extended furlong. Sent off favourite for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, the son of Norse Dancer never looked like taking a hand in the finish and was subsequently disqualified after failing a post-race drugs test.

Whatever went wrong that day, Yanworth atoned at Aintree in April when stepping up to an extended three miles to win the Liverpool Hurdle, though he only did just enough to win.

While that economical style of victory is par for the course for Barry Geraghty's mount, his rating of 163 makes him a force to be reckoned with against this sort of opposition and his trainer is hoping everything goes smoothly on a course that should suit.

"I am excited about the prospect of launching him over fences, but I would be lying if I wasn't a bit apprehensive as you want things to go well," said King. "This race has been in the back of our minds for some time. His preparation has gone well and he is ready to start, so let's hope it goes well.

delighted "Barry (Geraghty) has come over and ridden him once and he was delighted with him. I've been very happy with him and he has had four or five good schooling sessions. It is a lovely, big, galloping track and the trip should be fine ground."

Another to watch out for at Exeter is Lalor which sprang a 33/1 shock in a Grade Two bumper at Aintree and carries the hopes of trainer Richard Woollacott in the Prydis Novices' Hurdle.

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